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Paola Navone updates historic Tuscan castello for COMO Resorts

by Jane Kitchen | 26 Mar 2019

Family-owned COMO Hotels and Resorts will open its first hotel in continental Europe next month, the COMO Castello del Nero in Italy. The Tuscan hotel will be the fifteenth property in the Group’s global portfolio.

The 740-acre historic estate is situated in the Chianti wine region of Italy, a 30-minute drive from Florence and Siena. At the heart of the estate is a 12th century castello, featuring 50 rooms and suites with new interiors by Milanese designer Paola Navone.

While the castello’s historic terracotta flooring, fresco walls and vaulted ceilings remain untouched, Navone has introduced a lighter, more modern ‘COMO’ aesthetic throughout, designed to complement and enhance the period features without losing any of the authentic historic texture.

Together with Navone, COMO Hotels and Resorts have also softly adjusted the spa and culinary offerings with an aim to create a serene, contemporary retreat that makes guests feel at home, with therapeutic wellness experiences and carefully sourced food.

The wider estate features tennis courts and a heated outdoor swimming pool, as well as a COMO Shambhala Retreat, known for its healing, restorative treatments and expert therapists. In Tuscany, COMO Shambhala will complement Italy’s long spa heritage with a comprehensive treatment offering — appealing to men, women and guests on extended wellness-focused stays.

COMO Castello Del Nero will also open up the wider destination to its guests, offering hikes and guided cultural excursions.

“COMO Castello Del Nero is the holistic next step of growing our portfolio of hotels and resorts in select destinations around the world,” said Olivier Jolivet, CEO of the COMO Group. “We don’t intend to be the biggest lifestyle brand, but our objective is to be one of the best — with offerings in the most desirable locations. COMO Castello Del Nero, our fifteenth hotel, has the right features for us to deliver a personalised COMO experience; the Castello's history and the new design by Paola Navone blending perfectly with the rest of our portfolio.”

The Michelin-starred La Torre restaurant at COMO Castello del Nero is located in the original stables of the castello in the winter, transferring to the garden terrace in summer. All menus are overseen by executive chef Giovanni Luca Di Pirro. La Torre will showcase gourmet ‘farm to table’ Tuscan cuisine, sourcing much of its produce from the estate’s kitchen-garden, managed by Di Pirro. The estate also has its own vineyard, bee hives and olive groves.

Alongside La Torre, COMO Castello Del Nero features two informal restaurants, La Taverna and The Pavilion.

The opening also fulfils an important ambition for the founder of the COMO Group, Christina Ong, who has always cultivated a strong

allegiance to Italy. In 2007, Ong stayed at Castello Del Nero for a private family holiday and formed a strong connection with the Tuscan estate. The castello had been functioning as a private estate for centuries before it was converted into a hotel in 2006 by the Italian Trotta family. The COMO Group purchased the estate in 2018.

“I have a deep affection for the Italian aesthetic,” said Ong. “I admire how Italians are able to layer up history with modernity and come up with the most exquisite result. Italians may be the masters of Baroque, but they also understand the way simplicity resonates in its own unique and powerful way, from design to food.”

During the 1990s, Ong’s career in fashion as the founder of Club 21 forged some influential alliances in the luxury fashion industry between leading Italian design houses, such as Armani, Prada and Bulgari, and global retail markets.

All of Ong’s creations for COMO Hotels and Resorts have since included Italian influences. Collaborations with Milan-based design studios Laboratorio Associati and Studio Otto, as well as with Paola Navone, are still responsible for many of COMO’s interiors.

COMO Hotels  Tuscany  Italy  castello  spa  wellness 
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Family-owned COMO Hotels and Resorts will open its first hotel in continental Europe next month, the COMO Castello del Nero in Italy. The Tuscan hotel will be the fifteenth property in the Group’s global portfolio. The 740-acre historic estate is situated in the Chianti wine region of Italy, a 30-minute drive from Florence and Siena. At the heart of the estate is a 12th century castello, featuring 50 rooms and
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At the heart of the estate is a 12th century castello, featuring 50 rooms and suites with new interiors by Milanese designer Paola Navone
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